Predictions for Day Four of the 2015 Class 2 District 7 Tournament

Well, it looks like we’re going to have an unusual semifinal tripleheader tonight at Salisbury. Please don’t get me started on why there was only one game last night in the Class 2 District 7 tournament.

Anyhow, moving on with tonight’s picks…

No. 3 New Franklin (G) vs. No. 2 Sweet Springs (5 p.m. tip-off): I basically copy and pasted what I wrote last night, because there’s no reason to change a thing and I don’t think an extra day of practice will make much of a difference. This ought to be one heck of a game. Sweet Springs has definitely earned this seed, and as I look back at their schedule, that 4-point loss to Santa Fe looks really impressive. And with only eight players, the Lady Greyhounds have won 17 games this season. However, New Franklin is definitely playing its best basketball of the season. The Lady Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight. And c’mon, who doesn’t want to see a rematch of last year’s district championship game? Prediction: New Franklin 46, Sweet Springs 44.

No. 4 Harrisburg (B) vs. No. 1 Salisbury (6:30 p.m. tip-off): Well, looking back at the C2D7 history, Salisbury ended Harrisburg’s season in 2011, and again in 2012 en route to a state title. But don’t overlook the Bulldogs tonight. Six of their 14 losses have come against either 20-win teams or state-ranked opponents. Many of those other losses have been against Class 3 or Class 4 opponents. However, it’s very hard to overlook a Salisbury team that is 25-0 and has looked strong all season long. And this game is on its home floor. Prediction: Salisbury 64, Harrisburg 52.

No. 3 Westran (B) vs. No. 2 New Franklin (8 p.m. tip-off): If you are Westran, you’ve got to think that the third time is the charm, right? The Hornets fell to New Franklin 57-42 in the first round of the New Franklin Tournament (and Tanner White missed most of the second half with an ankle injury), then lost their regular-season meeting 50-36. It’s been pretty up and down for Westran since then, beating a state-ranked Community team and then losing to Marceline at home after beating the Tigers by 12 points on the road. New Franklin is going for its first 20-win season in probably close to a decade tonight. Let’s see if they get it. Prediction: New Franklin 64, Westran 56.

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Predictions for Day Three of the 2015 Class 2 District 7 Tournament

We’re to the semifinals, and it will be a pair of girls games tonight.

No. 4 Westran vs. No. 1 Harrisburg (6 p.m. tip-off): Harrisburg hasn’t played since last Tuesday, and a coach can look at that one of two ways. First, the extra rest would be nice, and with a few banged-up players, it was some much needed down time for Harrisburg. However, sometimes a layoff can throw off a team’s rhythm. Well, we will find out tonight. In the end, I think Harrisburg’s experience wins out and puts the Lady Bulldogs back in the title game. Prediction: Harrisburg 63, Westran 49.

No. 3 New Franklin vs. No. 2 Sweet Springs (7:30 p.m. tip-off): This ought to be one heck of a game. Sweet Springs has definitely earned this seed, and as I look back at their schedule, that 4-point loss to Santa Fe looks really impressive. And with only eight players, the Lady Greyhounds have won 17 games this season. However, New Franklin is definitely playing its best basketball of the season. The Lady Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight. And c’mon, who doesn’t want to see a rematch of last year’s district championship game? Prediction: New Franklin 46, Sweet Springs 44.

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I’m about to head out the door to Salisbury, so I’ll make some quick predictions for the Class 1 District 10 semifinals in Glasgow.

Girls: Glasgow 44, Tina-Avalon 36

Boys: Glasgow 68, Higbee 43

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Predictions for Day Two of the 2015 Class 1 District 10 Tournament

I’m about to take off for Salisbury, but before I do, let’s recap last night’s action and make some picks for tonight’s games, shall we?

No. 1 Glasgow (G) 58, No. 8 Brunswick 25: If Brunswick had not outscored Glasgow 11-0 in the fourth quarter, it would’ve looked more like the score of their first two meetings. Abby Thompson led Glasgow with 11 points and Blakeley Fuemmeler also had 10 points.

No. 1 Glasgow (B) 79, No. 8 Malta Bend 29: It was 45-4 at halftime. 45-4. All 10 Glasgow players scored, led by 16 points and eight rebounds from Kennedy Davis, who I hear also had a one-handed dunk in the game. Not bad for a 6-foot-4 sophomore.

No. 4 Tina-Avalon (G) 55, No. 5 Northwestern 39: I didn’t really follow this game last night, but based on their previous meetings this season, this outcome sounds about right.

No. 4 Higbee (B) 76, No. 5 Keytesville 63: Higbee followed a below-average first half with an explosive second half. There were times when Higbee was leading by 10 or so points in the fourth quarter with three minutes to play, and I began to think they would start holding the ball and kill time. Nope, that’s not their style. Higbee scored 49 points in the second half and Jacob Beal led the way with 34 points, making an astounding eight 3-pointers.

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And here are my picks for tonight’s games. Let’s see if I can start the week going 8-for-8.

No. 7 Malta Bend (G) vs. No. 2 Keytesville (4:30 p.m. tip-off): I’ve seen Keytesville play once this year, and I assume they’ll have this game in the bag tonight. Prediction: Keytesville 65, Malta Bend 33.

No. 7 Hale/Bosworth (B) vs. No. 2 Northwestern (6 p.m. tip-off): Again, for a 2/7 game, I’d be surprised if Northwestern doesn’t have the running clock to start the fourth quarter. Prediction: Northwestern 75, Hale/Bosworth 36.

No. 6 Hale/Bosworth (G) vs. No. 3 Higbee (7:30 p.m. tip-off): The Higbee girls are going for 20 wins tonight, which would be their first 20-win season since 1982. Not too shabby for second-year head coach Tanner Burton, who wasn’t even alive the last time Higbee had a 20-win season. Prediction: Higbee 67, Hale/Bosworth 38.

No. 6 Brunswick (B) vs. No. 3 Tina-Avalon (9 p.m. tip-off): I was pretty impressed to see Brunswick beat Cairo by 18 points a few weeks ago. The Wildcats are going to need some of that magic again tonight to get past Tina-Avalon, their future CLAA foe. Prediction: Tina-Avalon 59, Brunswick 38.

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Predictions for Day Two of the 2015 Class 2 District 7 Tournament

Before I make today’s boys quarterfinal picks, let’s take a quick recap of yesterday’s girls action.

No. 4 Westran 44, No. 5 Salisbury 41: My hat’s off to Westran for essentially winning a difficult road game to begin postseason play. What will make Westran successful this postseason is its ability to make free throws. Cory Burton, who made 9-of-11 free throws on Friday at Fayette, had a game-high 23 points for Westran.

No. 2 Sweet Springs 48, No. 7 Fayette 14: Sweet Springs’ length made a big difference in this game. That being said, Fayette had a surprisingly high number of blocks in this game, but the Greyhounds scored plenty of second- and third-chance points off them. Fayette ends the season with a 1-24 record.

No. 3 New Franklin 58, No. 6 Slater 39: For a while, I thought Madi Lyons was going to outscore Slater in this game. She had 20 points at halftime to Slater’s 16. Then, through three quarters, each had 25 points. Lyons had a career-high 27 points, and she, Aislinn Himmelberg and Madison Matney combined to score all but three of New Franklin’s points last night.

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All right, I went 2-1 last night. Let’s see if I can go 3-0 tonight with the boys. Also, the 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. games tonight will be broadcast on 99.9 FM and all three games will be broadcast on 102.9 FM or kmmo.com.

No. 5 Fayette vs. No. 4 Harrisburg (5 p.m. tip-off): Both teams are coming off rough outings. Harrisburg lost by 29 points on the road Saturday to Hallsville, while Fayette lost to Westran at home by 25 points on Friday — and that was just through the first half. Fayette hasn’t been able to contain Bryan Bolton in the first two meetings this season. If the Falcons do contain him tonight, they’ll have to figure out how to stop Harrisburg’s guards as well. Prediction: Harrisburg 69, Fayette 48.

No. 7 Sweet Springs vs. No. 2 New Franklin (6:30 p.m. tip-off): It was a pretty big deal for New Franklin to win its district opener last season. Not only did New Franklin finally dethrone Sturgeon, but it was the Bulldogs’ first district win under head coach Jim Schlotzhauer. I’m sure New Franklin will win with much greater ease tonight. Prediction: New Franklin 63, Sweet Springs 38.

No. 6 Slater vs. No. 3 Westran (8 p.m. tip-off): I have a pretty good feeling Scott Humphrey is going to be 2-for-2 in first round games after tonight. A Westran win should set up a pretty intense semifinal meeting with New Franklin on Thursday. Prediction: Westran 76, Slater 32.

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Predictions for Day One of the 2015 Class 1 District 10 tournament

I’m going to try something a little different this year. Usually, I keep my predictions to just the Class 2 District 7 tournament. However, I’m going to add Class 1 District 10 to my repertoire this week. In fact, I’ll be there tonight for the 4:30 game between Glasgow and Brunswick before I head to Salisbury and cover the final two games there.

No. 8 Brunswick (G) vs. No. 1 Glasgow (4:30 p.m. tip-off): This is probably not how Brunswick envisioned its final season in the Central Activities Conference, with the girls basketball team going 0-21 this season. Don’t worry, it will turn around and they will win some games next season when they leave for the Carroll-Livingston Activities Association. But Glasgow will send them packing tonight from the CAC with a winless year in Brunswick’s final season. And it could get ugly. After all, Glasgow won both games this years by scores of 68-17 and 60-9. Prediction: Glasgow 61, Brunswick 19.

No. 8 Malta Bend (B) vs. No. 1 Glasgow (6 p.m. tip-off): This game could get just as lopsided. The Glasgow boys should have no problem getting win No. 21 tonight. Prediction: Glasgow 74, Malta Bend 23.

No. 5 Northwestern (G) vs. No. 4 Tina-Avalon (7:30 p.m. tip-off): I haven’t seen these two teams play this year, but looking online, Tina-Avalon has won all three head-to-head meetings during the regular season. The first win was by 20 points, the second win was by five points and the third win was by 11 points. Add them all up, divide by three, and I’ll go with that for the final margin of victory. Prediction: Tina-Avalon 47, Northwestern 35.

No. 5 Keytesville (B) vs. No. 4 Higbee (9 p.m. tip-off): I might be able to catch the end of this game on my way home from Salisbury. The head-to-head series this season between these two teams won’t make sense to you on paper. First, Higbee wins by one point in overtime on a neutral floor. Then in the second meeting, Keytesville gets the win, this time on its home floor by five points. And finally, in their third and final meeting, Higbee blows out Keytesville by 25 points…at Keytesville. Here’s the thing: most people would see that last outcome as an outlier and throw it out. However, I’d make the argument that it’s the most relevant outcome. Higbee has been playing its best in the month of February, and that last win came right at the end of January. Higbee has won six of its last seven games and will finish above the .500 mark for the first time since the 2009-10 season, when Higbee went 22-5. Wil Clark is one of the area’s leading scorers with 20.3 points per game in the regular season, and during those last seven games, he has averaged 26.9 points per game. Higbee is looking for its first district win since 2010, and I’ve got a hunch the Tigers will get that next district win tonight. Prediction: Higbee 68, Keytesville 55.

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Predictions for Day One of the 2015 Class 2 District 7 tournament

All right, my last run-through of predictions for the high school basketball season are here. I’ll be taking in the final two games at Salisbury tonight, and believe it or not, it will actually be my first time stepping foot in the new gym. I’ve already heard plenty of great things about it.

Anyhow, let’s get to it.

No. 5 Salisbury (G) vs. No. 4 Westran (5 p.m. tip-off): Westran may be the higher seed, but Salisbury has roared back since the district seeds were picked and finished in a tie for first place in the Lewis & Clark Conference with Paris. At a neutral site, I’d say this game is a push. However, since it’s at Salisbury… Prediction: Salisbury 45, Westran 40.

No. 7 Fayette (G) vs. No. 2 Sweet Springs (6:30 p.m. tip-off): In most of my six years at Fayette, the Lady Falcons have found a way to play an unfamiliar team in a district full of regular-season opponents. Fayette has played Harrisburg, Westran, Salisbury, New Franklin and Slater…but not Sweet Springs. In a way, that has to be the best-case scenario opening-round matchup. Fayette isn’t playing a team it has lost to during the regular season. Sure, Sweet Springs posted a highly-respectable 16-9 record, but the Lady Greyhounds are entering districts after suffering back-to-back losses to end the regular season. On the flip side, Sweet Springs may only have eight players on its roster, but I’ve seen them play a few times this year. They’re long, they’re athletic and they can definitely score, so don’t be fooled by the lack of depth on the roster. Prediction: Sweet Springs 57, Fayette 31.

No. 6 Slater (G) vs. No. 3 New Franklin (8 p.m. tip-off): And we conclude tonight’s district tournament tripleheader with what be a CAC matchup next season. Usually these two teams meet in a regular-season tournament, but now that Slater has left the New Franklin Tournament, their only chance to meet this season was in the Glasgow Tournament. Since losing Jordan Allen for the rest of the season, Slater’s year took a downward spiral. The Lady Wildcats lost 1o of their last 11 games, and that only win came against Fayette. I’m pretty confidence New Franklin will make it 11-of-12 losses after tonight. Prediction: New Franklin 54, Slater 32.

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C2D7 and C1D10 district tournaments bracket are unveiled

Typically, the second-to-last Wednesday of the regular season is reserved for many as the day to pick districts in Missouri high school basketball. We still have 10 days of the regular season remaining, but let’s take a look at two district tournaments of local interest.

IMG_3192Class 2 District 7 boys tournament

  1. Salisbury (21-0)
  2. New Franklin (16-6)
  3. Westran (13-8)
  4. Harrisburg (9-12)
  5. Fayette (7-14)
  6. Slater (1-20)
  7. Sweet Springs (8-15)

This is exactly how I picked this district to look this morning.  Two weeks ago, Harrisburg would be seeded ahead of Westran, but the Hornets have been hot as of late, beating state-ranked Community on Saturday. Harrisburg lost both games of the Southern Boone Classic and still has three really tough games (Tolton, Santa Fe and Hallsville) to go in the regular season. And I know it doesn’t look like it makes sense to put 1-20 Slater ahead of 6-14 Sweet Springs, but that one win for Slater is a rather impressive win…over Sweet Springs.

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IMG_3191Class 2 District 7 tournament

  1. Harrisburg (14-8)
  2. Sweet Springs (16-7)
  3. New Franklin (12-10)
  4. Salisbury (8-12)
  5. Westran (8-13)
  6. Slater (9-13)
  7. Fayette (1-19)

Another fairly predictable lineup of seedings, although if Salisbury had beaten New Franklin on Friday, that would have made 3-5 seeds a free-for-all. But New Franklin did win, so that made for no headaches when the coaches had to pick this district.

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IMG_3186Class 1 District 10 boys tournament

  1. Glasgow (18-4)
  2. Northwestern (15-5)
  3. Tina-Avalon (11-11)
  4. Higbee (10-11)
  5. Keytesville (7-14)
  6. Brunswick (6-13)
  7. Hale/Bosworth (4-17)
  8. Malta Bend (6-10)

Again, these were rather predictable seedings, as of two weeks ago. Higbee could have been the No. 6 seed before the Keytesville Tournament, but after beating both Keytesville and Brunswick by 25 points each, they helped solidify the No. 4 seed.

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IMG_3187Class 1 District 10 girls tournament

  1. Glasgow (14-8)
  2. Keytesville (14-8)
  3. Higbee (16-6)
  4. Tina-Avalon (11-11)
  5. Northwestern (4-15)
  6. Hale/Bosworth (5-15)
  7. Malta Bend (7-9)
  8. Brunswick (0-18)

Finally, I didn’t think the same as the coaches. I had Higbee ahead of Keytesville, and Malta Bend ahead of Hale/Bosworth. Still, do I get any credit for still picking the exact same four first-round matchups? I know Keytesville beat Higbee head-to-head, but Higbee didn’t get a chance for revenge because Keytesville lost its first-round game of the Keytesville Tournament. But hey, I should’ve known. When in doubt, go with the head-to-head result.

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